Transformed Lives

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Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
I have the amazing privilege of serving in two special ministries at my church. both are forward facing, meaning that in both positions I directly interact with the congregation. The Lord has allowed me to grow through these opportunities, in ways that are staggering.
This is what happens to people once they have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior; they change and grow in ways that were previously unfathomable. How does this occur? It happens through an interaction with the holy spirit. The moment a person accepts  Jesus as Lord of their life, they are washed clean of their sins. their old self, for lack of a better term, has been done away with. Paul put it this way:
knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
 This verse struck me as I was standing before my church family the other night at the end of service. I stood with pastors and members of our prayer team as worship was ending and observed the people I am privileged to serve. They come from all walks of life. As I watched them give praise to the Lord of the universe, my eyes fell on the ones I knew the best. The ones whose testimonies  I knew. Some had their hands raised in submission, others heads were bowed, while still others pointed their faces toward heaven. No matter their posture, they all gave praise and thanksgiving to the almighty. As I recount this, it reminds me of a scene we will witness in heaven.
The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”
 Our earthly worship of the Father is a reflection of the worship we will have the privilege to offer in heaven. The worship given only by those who have been transformed by the blood spilled on Calvary and its restorative power.
I called this  post, Transformed Lives. I wonder what those of us who have been transformed have  done with our freedom in Christ? It is always interesting to know. I love listening to the testimonies of others; hearing what God delivered them from, how God worked out their salvation and brought them to that moment of decision. The testimonies of believers are to be an encouragement to us. They remind us that God is merciful and gracious, both giving us what we don’t deserve (grace) and not giving us what we do (mercy). God has waited for each of us who are saved to come to a decision. Scripture gives us a bible word for it: Long-suffering.
And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,


 God waited for us to come to a decision. In some cases He is still waiting. No matter where you find yourself today, I would like to speak to both groups Because both have a decision to make. First to those of you who have decided to follow Christ, those of you who have been saved from death and given the gift of eternal life; in the words of Sean Connery’s Malone from the Untouchables, “What are you prepared to do?”  It is a bold question but also a fair one. You who have received the gift of salvation know the score. We are in a  winner take all battle for souls. The hook is, we already know who wins!

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
 “The former things will pass away”; the short answer is Jesus wins. The truth is, it is not really a battle to begin with and the devil knows it. He knows he won’t win. He is the ultimate underdog; he has no shot. While the ultimate battle has been won, the evil one is in the business of winning souls of his own and in that is the deception of the ages. Satan has on purpose, to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). He can’t have a believers soul, but he can rip us off and steal from us the full measure of God’s plan for our lives. What of those who have not been saved? Simply put, it is open season and whom the devil takes from the camp of the unbeliever will end up in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). Knowing what the end looks like, I ask again, what are you prepared to do!?
Finally, for this of you that are on the fence, know that God loves you and is waiting for you. If you have read this you now know the Gospel and are therefore responsible for it. He wants to set you free and ascribe you burdens on Himself; transforming your life into one lived in freedom through Him! I ask you the same question: What are you prepared to do?
Until the Whole World Hears,

*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*


When Easter Doesn’t Feel Like Easter

And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”
Easter, what a miraculous time! “He is risen,” we say with gusto. The truth of the resurrected Christ the defeat of death and the grave; the joy in a room of believers and the movement of the spirit among them is palpable. But, what if it isn’t? What if you simply don’t feel like celebrating? This is not only a reality  for the unbeliever but for the believer as well. What do you do when Easter does not feel like Easter?
Discouragement is real for Christians. The misconception that once we have accepted Jesus as the Lord of our lives, everything is peachy is not only wrong but infuriating. Have you ever had a non believer say, “I’m sorry that this bad thing has happened to you, but you believe in Jesus right?” The answer that runs through my head is yes I do and thank God for that but it doesn’t make whatever it is hurt any less. Ther other situation happens in the company of believers. They have come to lend support and inevitably someone comes to you and quotes Romans 8:28.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
 In past writings I have called this verse a verse for Christians only. This verse can only be shared among believers because, only those with a relationship with Jesus Christ understand the truth, power, and peace of the fact that God is in charge. We do however need to watch ourselves; leaning on the spirit for discernment as to what to share and when. For example, Romans 8:28 may not be the right thing to say at a funeral for a child who died suddenly. While it is still the truth of God’s sovereignty, timing is everything. So, lean on the spirit for guidance.
But I digress. The question is what do you do when the person trapped under under the wet blanket of despair, loneliness, self doubt, and all the rest of it is you? I had a brother tell me last week that he hadn’t felt the presence of Jesus in his life for a long time. Have you ever felt that way? I know I have and I know the early church did as well.
We tend to read the account of the resurrection as the climax to a great story. First and foremost, it is not a story. The resurrection of Jesus Christ to sit at the right hand of the Father happened. It is a true and verifiable event. Second, and perhaps most important, we must remember that the first Easter Sunday was dark and full of despair. Early Christians had just lost their leader, their best friend, their teacher. The worst part for them, was that they had run away, all of them, for fear of their lives. So, on that first Easter morning, the followers of Jesus were scattered, scared, and sorrowful. Easter wasn’t Easter for them at all. That is of course until it was.
The  Road to Emmaus is my favorite of the resurrection accounts because it shows our Lord as ever present. it also gives us a picture of what being saved looks like. Scripture tells us that Jesus had many disciples. The twelve were those that were closest to Him, but there were others.
[ The Road to Emmaus ] Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem.

 Cleopas, and his friend, both disciples of Jesus, were traveling on Sunday to Emmaus and they were downtrodden to say the least. Scriptures tell us that they were discussing the Crucifixion of Jesus as they walked as well  as the realization that it was in fact the third day since that dark Friday afternoon (vv 19-24). I  imagine these two kicking rocks as they walked along; heads down, shoulders slumped – hopeless.
Have you ever been there? Maybe you received a call from the doctor that you weren’t expecting, or or a lay off notice. Whatever it might be, it is safe to say that we have all had times in our lives when we have had our heads down kicking rocks.  So, what do we do?
The first thing is to remember that God communicates with us through his word. The bible is the way that we draw close to our Father in heaven. On the road to Emmaus, these two disciples were joined by a man who unbeknownst to them was Jesus. Jesus met these two at their lowest moment and while walking with them, He opened the word to them.
And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

That had to be the greatest bible study in history! What I wouldn’t give to have been a fly on the wall for that. A bible study given by Jesus, about Jesus from the beginning, Wow! And yet, it occurs to me that as believers we have access to exactly that. Every time we open the bible, we are given a bible study by God, pointed at salvation, through Jesus Christ, from the beginning.
The second thing to remember is we are given a direct line to God through prayer. We don’t need an intermediary. We can come straight to the throne room of God whenever we would like. Through prayer we abide with Jesus, we invite Him in.
But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

The moment the disciples invited Jesus in, things began to change. When He broke bread with them there eyes were opened and they knew the savior was alive (vv 30-31).
Prayer is such a powerful thing. Both believers and nonbelievers can draw close to Jesus through prayer. Through Jesus our sorrows are eased. Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30).
Are you hurting today? If so, you are in my prayers. If you are a believer stay close to the Lord, lean on him and trust his promises. If you are not a believer and you find yourself reading this, know that there is a God in Heaven that loves you so much that he sent His only son to die and be raised up  so you could have eternal life (John 3:16).
Jesus says in scripture, “My peace I leave with you” (Johb 14:27). If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and savior you have that peace through Him.  If you have not then today is the day. Ask Jesus to come into your heart, admit that you have sinned and need His forgiveness and you can experience the peace that   surpasses all understanding.
Until the Whole World Hears,

To Serve or Be Served

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
What is it that separates Christians from the rest of the world? What makes us stand out from the rest? What makes us different? Well, I can tell you what it isn’t. It isn’t the size of our churches or the architecture.  It isn’t the worship team or the talent of the musicians. It isn’t even the quality of the sermons or the fame of the pastor. While all of these things are good things to have: It is good to have a nice building, a talented worship team, and a quality pastor, these things are only good inasmuch as they bring glory and honor to the Lord. With out that as their purpose, they are baseless and worldly.
What separates Christians is our example. What separates us is the Lord Jesus. From His example comes our grace, mercy, peace, patience, and love.
For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
 Let that settle in, the difference in a Christian and the rest of the world is Jesus and what He did for us. Jesus, the king of the universe, went to the cross and died the death we deserved so that we who believe would live with Him in eternity and so we would know how to live while we are here on this mortal coil.
Jesus gave His life as a ransom for many; the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate example of servant hood. Yet we who have accepted Him fall short and we are going to because He was perfect and we are broken.
We are made righteous through Him. A servants heart reflects the desire to proclaim the name of Jesus as great, as the beginning and the end of all things. John the baptist said it best:
He must increase, but I must decrease.
 To avoid being puffed up and distracted by self importance, we must see people as God sees them. In order to do that, Jesus must be the leader of our lives, choices, and interactions. if we attempt to lead a Godly life in our own strength (without God) we will fail and miss out on Gods purpose for our lives.
Truth be told, I started writing this post at the beginning of March and am finally finishing it. As a follower of Christ, I don’t believe in coincidences, so the fact that I am finishing a study on servant hood on resurrection weekend strikes me as just about right.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, could have taken Himself down from the cross at anytime and called down legions of angels to wipe out all those that were responsible for His suffering. in point of fact, that would have meant the destruction of the entire world because it was our sin that put Him there.  Jesus loves you so much that He bore the torturous death of Crucifixion and took upon Himself the sin of the whole world; past, present, and future.  You who believe in Jesus,as well as you that do not, have been bought with a price. All that need be done is to accept the gift. Jesus forgave us from the cross.
Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.
 Let’s remember that as we serve in our churches this weekend. To God be the glory!
Grace & Peace,

Unequally Yolked?


2 Corinthians 6:14 [Full Chapter]

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
I heard Billy Graham say once that the cross of Christ is offensive. When we look out onto the world at large, we can see that to be completely true. From our unbelieving friends and neighbors in our communities to the news stories we see on evening TV, the world clashes with the cross of Christ more vehemently then with any other, “major religion.” The reason is simple Jesus spoke the truth.

John 14:6 [Full Chapter]

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
This means that all roads do not lead to heaven. It means that every religion is not, “a little bit right.” It means that we can’t wait until the end of our days or until the rapture to make a choice. It means there is one choice, Jesus Christ and your acceptance of Him as the Son of the living God; sent as a sacrifice for you so that you could live in eternity and not die the death you deserve. The Cross of Christ is offensive because it draws a line in the sand demanding that a choice be made.
The battle between the cross and the world is something that Christians are accustomed to. It is a battle that is as old as the fall in the garden. The only way Christians can fight the battle is by following the very cross that the world opposes – by following Jesus. We can’t fight the devil alone and are told that we do not need to. The world is in point of fact, the devils playground.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.


The devil can’t have the soul of a saved christian but he can certainly rip us off and more importantly, by causing us to react in our flesh he can rip off a non believer. How? When our actions do not match our worlds, a non believer has an excuse not to listen. Christians are always on trial.
As you know, this is a hard existence. I don’t know that it was in the materials when I became a believer. But Jesus brings us peace in His promise.
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
God also created two key things to shield us and give us rest from the spiritual battle: Marriage and the church. The Christians church family and marriage are designed to be bastions of safety, of solace and communion with the Lord. They are places of rest and rejuvenation, or at least they are supposed to be. If one of these is off kilter, unevenly yolked, it throws your walk with Christ out of balance. If you are not attending a bible teaching church, you are not yolked correctly. If this is true for you today, get a new church. As scripture says, shake the dust from your shoes. But what if your have an unequally yolked marriage? Can you just go and get a new spouse? The answer is no. Marriage is one of the most sacred gifts that God gave His people and it is truly, “until death do us part.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
 Marriage is unity; unity of purpose, unity of vision, unity in love. The reason? Because both partners do all things as unto the Lord. Meaning that each partner can rest in the other as they rest in the Lord. It has been said that a couple that prays together stays together.  But what if one partner is a non believer? Simply put, the true power of the marriage commitment can not be realized and the lack of unity can be exploited by the devil to rip off the believer and non believer alike. How? The believer, in an effort to make peace in their household and appease their spouse can start to compromise. That can lead to old habits and ultimately damage their walk with Christ. And, because of the believer compromise, the nonbeliever is cheated out of the truth.
An unequally yolked marriage is destructive because of the strife the differing belief system because. Jesus demands a decision and the believer is often desperate to see their loved one redeemed. It is the first prayer breathed everyday and it is often painful in waiting for the Lord to move or, more correctly the spouses heart to soften. Jesus told us he would cause division.
Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
 So what can you do? What if you’re reading this today and this is you? You are in an unequally yolked marriage.First and foremost know that you are not alone. There are many within the church that live in unequally yolked marriages. Take solace in your church family, they will encourage you on the tough days and rejoice with you on the good ones. Most importantly, they will keep you focused on Jesus.
Why produce an entire study on this topic? After all, the solution seems so simple; if your spouse doesn’t get it why not just divorce them? Because, in doing so, not only do you damage your witness by behaving as the world does but you also stand in direct contravention of God’s word.
“For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,” Says the Lord of hosts. “Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.”
 God says that divorce covers ones garment in violence. The word violence is striking here. One commentary explained it this way, ” …A gross act of sin which, like blood spattered on a murder victim from a killer, leaves evidence of the evil deed.” Divorce is not an option.
So then what? What do believers who are unequally yolked do to find peace in what is often a contentious existence? Trust Jesus, stay in scripture, and if you do not have a fellowship family, seek one out. Also, please understand that if you are in danger this morning; if you are in an abusive relationship go somewhere safe and work on your marriage from a distance. Remember, God loves all his children, even your unbelieving spouse and God doesn’t need you to speak on His behalf. When He wants you to He will let you know.
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
 Your unbelieving spouse, like all other non believers, cannot understand the spirit of the Lord without the Holy Spirit. I know how hard it is. There is so much at stake; eternity hangs in the balance. Trust that God knows that and loves your spouse more then you do. So, be at peace.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the worldyou will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Grace & Peace,

What Shall We Say?

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[ Put on Christ ] And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.


I write this from 33 thousand feet or so heading out for a family vacation. I needed to get away, that I knew – I just didn’t know how badly.

As I sit here, against the window with the shade drawn, I can feel the heat of the sun working on the plastic shade. It is warm and, if I were to leave my had on it for a prolonged period of time, I would assuredly come away from the experience with a nice red burn

It is striking to me that this is how God works in my life. As my mind clears of the mundane day to day, worldly concerns, God steps in and says, ” hey consider this. Go ahead, ask me the question that is really troubling you.”

It is like the heat coming through the window shade; once it has been noticed it can not be ignored.  With persistence it demands consideration. Further, If I ask the question, I know God will answer it and like the heat wafting off of my window shade, it might burn me. Yet, the Lord of the universe loves me. I am his child. For this reason I am not afraid. Scripture say that the Lord chastens whom He loves. So, if I am to be chastened then let it be with a holy fire that burns away all my inequity.

“Get on with it then,” I hear you say. “What is the question?”

Like most things, it is not simple; or perhaps it is and I, in my flesh am determined to make it difficult. The answer, I suppose will come at the due time. I do not wish to terry long so: as a Christian committed to preaching the gospel, how much of the world system am I to avail myself of? How involved am I to be? At what point does my involvement in discussions revolving around the politics of the day take the focus from Jesus and put it on me and my opinion or the world at large? There it is and no matter the answer God provides I will obey.

Romans chapter 13 tells us to put on Christ – our salvation is nearer then when we first believed. It also tells us to wake up. I have written at length about walking in the spirit; being led by Christ in humility.

[ Take Up the Cross and Follow Him ] Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.

It is in this spirit that I went to Romans 13 for the answer. The 13th chapter of Romans tells us to submit to government.

[ Submit to Government ] Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
This is a hard truth for me and, I daresay for others as well. Our leaders were appointed by God. There is no questioning this point. I know it is God’s word but it is difficult to accept. Why? Because that means  even the  leaders  we disagree with have been given authority by God. Therefore, we must obey; Taking comfort in the truth that God is in control of His creation.So why the bad leaders? Why is it that God allows poor leadership and are we as Christians to speak out against it. Take into consideration the coronation of Sal. David was to be king. The man after God’s own heart was anointed in I Samuel 16. That was God’s plan However, in chapter 12 God gives the people what they want ahead of schedule. In their impatience, they clamored for a king and God heard them. And, it came with a warning.

1 Samuel 12:13-15 

1.3 “Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen and whom you have desired. And take note, the Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you fear the Lord and serve Him and obey His voice, and do not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then both you and the king who reigns over you will continue following the Lord your God. 15 However, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you, as it was against your fathers.

There is much to consider here. First Samuel tells the people, ” Here is the king you have chosen.”

The imprecation is God didn’t choose Sal, the people did. The nation is outside the will or God and that is a dangerous place to be. Take note however, at the end of verse 13, God blesses the choice as He does so many times with us; not because we’re good but because He is.: “The Lord has Set a king over you.” This is not to be missed, the Lord did it not the people. He listened and gave the what they wanted even though it was outside His plan. The admonishment that comes next is not to obey the king first but to obey the Lord in all things. Samuel tells us, if we do that all will be well for us and the king. If we don’t the hand of the Lord will be against us. That is a strong word.

I believe it is a word for us today in this season of over the top politics and division as hasn’t been seen in a generation, obey the Lord first. Measure all things with the measuring stick of God’s word. If it doesn’t measure up then say so, without fear.

Expect Godly leadership and when there is none, pray for the leader and vote your values. In short, do all things as unto the Lord. As you can tell, I found my answer. Trust God, follow Him and speak the truth. Fear God not man.

Grace & Peace,



Where We Came From

1 Samuel 7:12 [Full Chapter]

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
My church family celebrated an amazing, God given milestone last week.. After service, I was standing with a brother talking about the providence of God and what a blessing our church family is. Soon, as is often the case when discussing the things of God, our conversation turned to scripture and, in this case, Ebenezer Stones.
No, I’m not talking about a stone in memory of Scrooge. I am referring to a place marker; a remembrance of where we have been, of where we come from. In this case, Samuel was marking Gods providence in the life of the nation of Israel, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
We have examples throughout scripture of Ebenezer stones, place markers being laid in reverence and praise to God’s sovereignty and providence in the lives of believers. We all have Ebenezer stones in our lives and I would wager that, after some thought you could come up several.
It is interesting that before they were named Ebeneezer, God’s children, on many occasions set up memorial place markers. After all of the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan, the Lord commanded His children:

Joshua 4:1-4 New King James Version the (NKJV)

The Memorial Stones

And it came to pass, when all the people had completely crossed over the Jordan, that the Lord spoke to Joshua, saying: “Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, and command them,  it took to get us here saying, ‘Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.’”

Just as it was important for the children of Israel to set up remembrance points during their walk with the Lord; it is important for us to do the same. We must remember where we came from and whom it took to get us here. The profit Samuel said it, ” Thus far the Lord has helped us.”

The Ebenezer stones can be any thing that serves as a reminder of the past, of the times that God was there to carry you through. It doesn’t need to be a reminder of a dark time, but it can be. Here are some examples to get you thinking about the Ebenezer Stones in your own life. Prior to moving into our current building, my church met in a school. During service, the congregation sat on the hard plastic chairs found in most public school lunch rooms. In our sanctuary today, interspersed throughout the room which is filled with comfortable chairs, are a few of the hard plastic ones from the school. These are reminders, memory stones, Ebenezers. They bring to remembrance where we came from as a church and bring glory to God.

I have Ebenezers of my own: a beat up motorcycle jacket, a hospital bracelet, a bible that was given to me in 1983 by my uncle, and a hand written, speech that I delivered before three congregations after a mission trip to Mexico in 1985. All of these items bring back memories forms specific times in my life. Each one reminds me of a time when God was with me in a tangible way.

The Ebenezer stones in your live are place markers. They bring back to remembrance your testimony. It is through your testimony that you connect with God and further, connect others to Him. There is power in your story.

And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
What are your Ebenezers? If you haven’t thought about it in a while or if it never occurred to you at all; I encourage you to give it some thought. Prayerfully consider your testimony and reflect on your journey. It will encourage you as you walk forward in the spirit to know where you came from and who it ws that got you here.
I would also encourage you to share your story. No matter what it is. If you were blessed to be brought up in a Godly home, share it! There is the power of God in it. If not, or if you walked away as I did, share it being careful not to revel in the, ” Good ol’ days.” Because they weren’t good. They represented a time when you were dead in sin. The good old days started when God through His mercy and grace delivered you from death by the blood of Jesus Christ.
I will remember the works of the Lord; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
Grace and Peace,



Questioning God

Isaiah 55:8-9 [Full Chapter]

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
It is a question that goes back as far as time itself. If God loves us so much, why does he allow bad things to happen to us? Why is there such dysfunction in the world? It is a question that has derailed many believers who sadly never came back to the truth. Bad things happen to good people in this world and we ask why God? Why?
In examining why good people suffer, which is the core of the why, question we must remember that this broken world and the sin that it pervades it is no respecter of persons.
that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
In short, the reason bad things happen is sin. The world is broken, damaged and sinful. Because of this darkness, bad things happen. Unfortunately there is no protection for us from the bad things in this world. Sin is here therefor darkness is here ergo bad things happen to all people.
There is no sadder place to be then a funeral for a nonbeliever. The funeral consist of songs and remembrances, it is often times not held in a church but in a funeral home. There are vague references to the after life and how whom ever it is is living it up with the man upstairs. When you look into the faces of those who knew the deceased; family members, close friends and the like, the depth of sadness, of finality is overwhelming. The reason is simple. The nonbeliever has no hope. It has been said that Human beings can live for forty days without food, four days without water, and four minutes without air. But we cannot live for four seconds without hope.
A Christian has hope; the hope of eternity with Christ as well as the knowledge that God is always with us.

Isaiah 41:10 [Full Chapter]

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
 I can hear some of you now, “that’s all well and good,” you say. ” But why doesn’t God just wipe sin out? After all, if sin is the issue and God is all powerful; then why not wipe it out?”
The short answer is: wiping sin out means wiping us out. After disobeyed God (Genesis 3) Adam and Eve were exiled from the garden and sent out into the world. They had been separated from God by their sin, they were sinners. Because 0f this, every child they bore was born in sin, an imperfect being separated from God.

Genesis 4 [Full Chapter]

[ Cain Murders Abel ] Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the Lord.” Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel.
 It is clear that our nature is sinful. Paul says in Romans 5:8 that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. If that isn’t humbling enough; the thought that all by ourselves we are a train wreck we do have the devil to consider.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
In the final analysis, the world is a dark, dismal, and sometimes scary place.However, as I said earlier, Christians have hope. We have hope because rather than wipe us out God sent His only Son to wipe out sin. Jesus Christ hung on a cross and paid the price that was ours to bear. His blood, sinless blood was shed not as a covering for sin but as a cleansing  – one time for all time.
Isaiah 1:18 [Full Chapter]

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.
While it is true that bad things still happen to good people, believers have a companion who knows what it is to suffer, to be alone, and to be forsaken. It has been said before and I will echo it here, ” I would rather go through a storm with Jesus then go through life without Him.”
God is in charge and He has a plan for each of us. We are His children and He loves us with a love that we cannot comprehend. His is in charge and He will never leave you.

Romans 8:28 [Full Chapter]

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Grace & Peace,

Who do You Think You Are?

Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”


I was a handful as a teenager. I was one of those kids who had the world by the tail and knew it. I was arrogant, cocky, and always had the answers, even if they were the wrong ones. During those times of self assertion my mother would always step in, pull me aside and say, ” remember Larry, a everything with a teaspoon of humility.” Uggh! That drove me crazy! Doesn’t she understand that you don’t get anywhere by being humble? I honestly thought my mom was out of her mind at times. But, after being saved, I have come to understand that she wasn’t wrong; I was. My mother was doing as scripture instructed her.

then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.

My mother was teaching me that God expects us to be humble. He expects us to be humble in all things. Scripture tells us that God gives grace to thr humble but resists the proud (James 4:6). It seems that when we are ministering to others it is easy to exhibit humility and council for the same. We are quick to remind someone else to be careful and in all things be humble. However, when we are alone, when it’s just us and the Lord, that desire for humility can often change.
In the text the Lord tells Moses that he is walking on hallowed ground and to remove his sandals. This is a representation of the way we are to approach the Lord; with an understanding of who He is and who we are by comparison.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Jesus Christ is the whole deal. As I have said before, He was here when it all started and He will be here when it is all over. Who are we then when we approach God or even as we simply live our lives? We are His creation. Our creator loves us and had given us a direct connection to Him – prayer.
And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand.
God loves our prayers. When I read this verse I am reminded of a women I dated in college. She always burned incense in her room. The aroma was always so present and calming. I picture the Lord just enjoying our prayers, drinking them in as incense. The Lord invites us to come to Him with no intercessor. What a privilege! We need no pope, no pastor, just a penitent heart; for there is one intercessor between God and man, Jesus Christ!
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
 We have unprecedented honor: to go before the Lord, to enter His throne room and present our petitions to Him through prayer.  I fear that often we go before the Lord with our petitions, hitting our knees, we start the list. ” Lord, I need this, I want that, help me with this circumstance over here, ” and the list goes on and on until we are done. we end our session with an appropriate, “In Jesus name,” and we move on checking the lackluster event from our to do list.
Prayer is a two way street. It is intended to be a conversation between us and our maker. To many times it becomes one way; we talk ( a lot) God listens and we are done. Moses did that as well. God said, “Hey, I’m going to do this great thing through you.” And instead of listening, instead of drinking it in Moses started talking.

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

How many times have we done this? How many times have we questioned God? I heard it said once that it was okay to question God – just don’t expect an answer. I am not in any way saying it is not okay to question God. In truth that is an entire study unto itself and perhaps I will develop it soon. The point here is Moses had many insecurities and as a result,  through the remainder of Exodus 3 and 4, Moses immediately discounts himself as an instrument of God.

There are two primary ways we can miss out on what God has for us to do. 1. we come to Him with a list of needs and spend all of out time (actually God’s time) going through it. 2. We put God in a box not based on Him but based on us and our issues. In doing either one of these things we miss out on God’s will for our lives as well as the sweetness of a one to one RELATIONSHIP with the creator of the universe

Jesus taught us to pray. It is commonly refereed to as the Lord’s prayer. I like many of you memorized it growing up. It is an amazing prayer all by itself. Did you know that it is intended to be a model for all of our prayers?

Matthew 6:9-13 [Full Chapter]

In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. …
In this first section we acknowledge God for who He is: holy, expected to return, and in charge. I challenge you this week to examine your prayer life. Are you talking more than you are listening? Are you putting God in a box based on your insecurities? Or, are you humbling yourself in His presence? I would be encouraged and honored to hear from you this week. Let me know what God has revealed through your prayer life. Email me at
Grace & Peace,



Sometimes We Just Don’t Know

Genesis 50:19-20 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

I have worked in corporate America all of my adult life. If there is one thing corporate America is big on (other than the bottom line) it is team building. If you work for a corporation of any size, at some point in your career, you will find yourself in a room or on an outing doing a team building exercise. Within this exercise is always some type of trust activity. I don’t know how you feel, but these are always my least favorite. I can handle the egg toss, the what do you know about me game, I can even deal with all manor of races. I just loath the trust game because it inevitably involves a trust fall. One person stands behind the other and the person in front forces themselves to fall backward and the person standing behind them is supposed to catch them before they hit the ground. inverably, I would always get the wise guy that would step backward when I would start my trust fall, catching me at the last possible moment.

Often times, as followers of Christ, it can feel as though God will never catch us – as though we are destined to fall, destined to fail. We have all felt this way. And, have also kicked ourselves for it. We have all felt guilty at one time or another for doubting, wondering how a situation was going to play out, or (and let’s be honest) been absolutely afraid. If no one has ever told you this, let me be the first-fear is okay.

As we read scripture and meditate on its meaning for our lives, it is to easy to lose sight of the fact that the people that appear n the pages of Gods word, the characters we find in the accounts of the Lords people were people; real people. They were people who got up in the morning and wondered, just as we do, what the day would bring. They laughed, cried, loved, and had bouts of anger. In short, they were humans with flaws just like us. The most difficult thing to remember is that they did not know how their story would end, they were living it. When we read scripture, we have the gift of knowing how the account ends. David, Moses, Joshua and all the rest lived it, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, and year by year.

Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

The verses that serve as the back drop to this weeks post come at the end of Joseph’s journey. Do we honestly believe that Joseph woke up on the back of some slave traders cart, stripped of his belongings, a prisoner and said “hallelujah! Let’s see what happens next!” I seriously doubt it. He was most likely scared, not knowing what was to become of him.

Fear in the face of the unknown , as I said earlier is a human response – expected and okay. Why? because we are human after all and God made us, fear included. I listened to a pastor tell a parishioner recently that the bible grows us up spiritually. This is accomplished by the honesty of the spirit. We see God’s people: their triumphs, tragedies, successes and failures We see it all and the common thread is the grace and mercy of God almighty. He is our deliverer. In Joseph’s case God used his circumstance to pave way for  the burgeoning nation of Israel to make their way to Egypt and escape a famine that would have killed them all.

Romans 8:28 [Full Chapter]

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
 This is not simply a nice bookend to a good story. It shows us an abiding truth – God’s ways are not our ways.

Isaiah 55:8 [Full Chapter]

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the 
In the final analysis, God’s word teaches us that He is in charge. His word shows us time and again that we can and should trust Him and our testimonies back that up for they are the manifestation of God’s work in our lives.
Grace& Peace,

God’s Purpose for Your Life

[ Purpose of the Mystery ] To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
If I were to sit down and try to determine which question I am asked most often regarding God, which thing I am asked to pray for regularly I would say it if for purpose. Everyone wants to know what God wants to do with them, myself included. What is our mission? in essence it is that age old question: why am I here? The short answer  is: To know God and make Him known. It is a simple answer but the journey to the point of even asking the question can be as complicated as the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness.
The best place to start is at the beginning. Scripture tells us that we were created. Contrary to the worlds view – we were created by God we did not evolve from a puddle of goo or from star dust and we most assuredly were not the result of the evolution of apes. No, we were created  by the creator of the universe.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.


The first step to finding God’s purpose for your life is to realize there is a creator behind the creation and He created you. Just as he created Adam, he created you. To understand that God created us is liberating and provides focus for our lives. Think about it. If God created you that means you did not simply evolve from nothing, you did not arrive by accident. You are here because God almighty wants you to be and therefore must have a purpose for your existence.

Jeremiah 1:5 [Full Chapter]

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”  
This is an amazing truth! Not only did God create you and me but He did so with a purpose in mind. The word sanctified in the passage above is a bible word that means  set apart. There is a deep truth here: The Same God that created the universe took time out from making the world spin, the grass grown and the birds of the air fly to make you and me?! Not only that but He set us apart from all other living things as well as each human being from another for something special? Wow!
It is apparent that we are all set apart, created by a creator, and intended for something wholly unique; but what is that exactly- how do we find out?  God will tell you because God knows.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
That’s right, God thinks about you. The creator of all things takes the time to have specific thoughts about you. Here is the amazing part, although scripture tells us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) The God that created you has not written you off. God says that He thinks thoughts of peace and not evil and that He wants to give you a future of hope. God wants the best for you. He made you, set you apart, and loves you.
[ God’s Everlasting Love ] What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
The answer to this question is: no one. No one can come against a child of God and hope to win. there is one problem. For all that God has done for you, for every oportunity he has given you to succeed; you remain separated from Him by sin. We are born sinners, all of us and no one can escape that fact. The good news is, God knows that and He loves us so much in spite of ourselves, that He sent His Son to die so that we may live.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 
Because of Adan and Eve’s sin in the garden, (Genesis 3) man was separated from God. God loved us anyway and made a way for imperfect man to commune with God. scripture tells us that blood sacrifice was the only covering for the sin of man.
Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
 God covered Adam and Eve, not because He was ashamed but because they were. In doing so He showed them how to maintain a right relationship with him, through blood sacrifice. God told the devil that he would settle things, He would bridge the divide between God by and man once and for all.
[ The Coming Messiah ] “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”
God has a plan and has had a plan since the beginning of time. Because we were created by God and not by some cosmic accident, we are part of that plan. He has a plan, a purpose for our lives.
God sent His son, the only perfect man to ever walk the earth: God in human flesh, to serve as one last blood sacrifice. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross does not simply cover our sin as animal sacrifice did. It washes us clean of sin in the eyes of the father.

Isaiah 1:18 [Full Chapter]

“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.


As I said before our purpose in life is to know God and make Him know. Jesus tells us how to return to our Father creator:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.No one comes to the Father except through Me.

We must accept the gift that God provided us. We must believe that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world and after three days rose again form the dead; thus conquering death and the grave. Forever bridging the gap between God and man. The God who created you has also provided you with a purpose; to know Him and make Him known.

If you have not accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I invite you to settle your affairs with the Lord today. Humble yourself and acknowledge that you are a sinner broken before God. Profess your faith in Jesus, your knowledge that he died for your sins and after three days God raised him from the dead. Ask Him to come into your life and He will.

Once you start living for Jesus – living not just with purpose but on purpose; there is no limit to what God will do with you.

Grace and Peace,


*If you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, email me at and let me know! I will be happy to lead you through what the bible says about salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your savior.*